Snellville approves speed cameras for 3 school zones

Snellville is the latest Gwinnett city to approve speed cameras for its school zones.

Duluth and Lilburn have already installed cameras that automatically flag speeders for ticketing near schools. Now, Snellville is joining the effort to slow traffic when kids, parents and school personnel may be walking nearby.

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Snellville City Council approved cameras for areas around Snellville Middle School, Britt Elementary School and South Gwinnett High School on Monday. The cameras, manufactured by RedSpeed, record license plate information of drivers going at least 15 miles per hour over the speed limit. Once a police officer verifies the information, a ticket is sent to the driver’s home.

“Where automated enforcement is in use, violations go down and that’s good,” said Snellville Police Chief Roy Whitehead in a city release.

RedSpeed cameras are free to municipalities to acquire and install. The company takes a 35% cut of every ticket issued — $75 for first-time violators and $125 for repeat offenders — and the remaining 65% is legally required to fund public safety in the city where the ticket is issued.

Around Georgia, RedSpeed has partnered with more than 20 cities and counties on the school zone cameras. In addition to Duluth and Lilburn, its other metro-area partners are Henry County, Jonesboro and Conyers.

The partnerships between cities and RedSpeed were made possible by House Bill 978, passed in 2018. The law allows speed cameras to be used for traffic enforcement in school zones, and stipulates drivers must be recorded on camera going at least 10 mph over the speed limit. The law also sets the fee schedule.

Drivers caught by the cameras usually will pay less and face a lesser penalty than if a police officer pulled them over. Officers can use his or her discretion to pull over someone going even one mile per hour over the posted limit. Tickets given by officers also typically come with points on a driver’s license, which the camera tickets do not.